Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Happy Russian Independence Day!

Today was a Russian holiday, but my Tuesday/Thursday nanny is happy to work holidays. So we took advantage of the fact that I had forgotten to tell her not to come until the week before and then thought it was too short notice.

The morning started great. I woke at 7am (habits die hard) and got in a workout before the family started getting up just before 8am.  The weather was awful, drizzly and gray, so I figured some of the plans I had for the day would have to be scuttled. The initial steps though were still solid so off we went ... to Kupetz Eliseevs. Here's a shot of the confectionery section.

Кондитерские изделия

We got some pastries and hot beverages and sat under the giant pineapple. I got a very yummy hot chocolate, tasting just like a melted chocolate bar but too milky and sweet, I still prefer Guell's the best. Although the meats, cheeses, fish etc are ridiculously expensive - the least expensive cheese cost 1000 rubles per kilogram, or roughly $15/lb - the alcohol was surprisingly close to what it would cost other places and the pastries were also on par.

From Eliseevs we headed over to ROSPHOTO where there were 2 exhibits I wanted to see and thought Terry would like.

The first was One Hundred Years by Danish photographer Keen Heick-Abildhauge - 100 photos of Russians, one from each year of life. Below is the 5 year old, who collects Transformers. In addition to the photographs, each photo included the age, name, and a dream or passion. We were struck by how the dreams were relatively consistent among age ranges, and how the changed over time ("I want to be a policeman/artist/actor" became "I want world peace" and eventually "I want to have family around me")

5 years

The other one was Crown on the Earth, a collection of Japanese photographers' works. Below is a set of photographs superimposed on top of each other to make one composite photo. A couple of these were so clear - so the faces involved had to be so similar - that the effect was quite eerie, especially when next to other images where the different individuals create a very fuzzy image.

After the art, it was time for lunch. Brasserie de Metropole was our destination as it had been recommended and we'd never gone there yet. And it was on the way home and close to the metro.  I hadn't realized it specialized in Belgian style home brews, so Terry was entirely unimpressed with their beers although I really liked his, mine was only OK. The food was pretty good too, we'd probably go back on a night he didn't feel like drinking.

After lunch was a weird time, not really time yet to go home (we'd specifically asked our nanny to stay certain hours then felt bad going home too early) so we did some errands first and came home only a bit early.

Last special treat of the day: buffalo wings. Terry found chicken wings at the store, a friend had sent us the Tabasco Buffalo sauce, and he whipped up blue cheese dressing yesterday (it is supposed to sit overnight).  YUMMY!


Mara Rae said...

Um where are those desserts? Because I need some! We definitely want to visit St. Petersburg when we get to Russia (this is just another good reason) :)

Lynne said...

The desserts are at Kupetz Eliseevs. Corner of Nevsky and Malaya Sadovaya. Recently reopened after a 2 (??) year renovation. Definitely worth the visit.